WWII Ghost sighting

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WWII Ghost sighting

Post  DigitalBoy0101 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:30 am

I was proudly a Sailor aboard the U.S.S. Missouri from around September of '89 until just before she was decommissioned around Feb. of '92. I was a Machinist's Mate 3rd class, M-Division, stationed in Engine Room #4.

We were in Homeport (Long Beach, CA), and I was doing my scheduled Physical Security watch down in Engine Room #4. Part of the Physical Security watch is also going down into the Shaft Alleys (where the propeller shafts exit the skin of the ship) to monitor the level of water in the Bilge once per hour.

I don't remember which watch rotation I was on, but I think I had the midnight - 04:00 watch. When my turn to take readings in Shaft Alleys came, I dutifully went down there to do my rounds. As I was exiting through the Port side access hatch after taking my readings, a full body apparition a deck below me stepped THROUGH a door I had just closed and secured, and looked up right at me for a split second as I was closing the hatch. I was so startled, I couldn't stop the action I had started of closing the hatch. When I immediately opened it again to look, the apparition was gone. This particular hatch is a "porthole" in the floor, with a ladder leading down 1 level to where the Shaft Alleys are. The apparition was dressed in the exact same working uniform I was wearing, the Navy's traditional "Dungarees". As far as I recall, the Navy's working uniform hasn't changed, or at least very little, since probably WWI.

Since there were deaths aboard the ship in WWII, I assume the apparition I saw was one of those people. Also, since he looked right AT me as I was closing the hatch, I don't believe it to be a residual haunting. However, it is also worth noting that this was my one and only experience in 2 1/2 years of daily living on the ship. I did not have an apartment out on town, the ship was my home. In retrospect, I think the spirit was "guarding" the ship, protecting it. I think he was following me while I was doing my rounds, and making sure it was done right. I had absolutely no perception of the apparition until I closed the hatch that night. But I think he is a "Guardian Angel" of the ship (or at least of that particular section), much like my own personal story in another Forum section.

While I served aboard the Missouri, I had also heard that a ghost was seen quite regularly in one of the other Engine Rooms. I don't recall which one, probably #1 or #2. I worked in #4 and never had an experience with that spirit. I also seem to remember being told that spirit had been entered in the ship's official log at some point.

The bond between a Sailor and his/her ship is VERY special and powerful. Even moreso than other military branches or the Fire Department, which I have also done. You fully depend on the ship, and it depends on you. This happens in the other Services and the F.D. as well. But further than that, you also LIVE aboard your ship.

I was only aboard my second ship about 6 months before I got out of the Navy, and never felt the bond to the ship like i felt with the Missouri. That ship is special, and not just from a historical standpoint. She has grace, she has style, you could almost say she has her own personality.....not to mention enough brute firepower in one platform to bring virtually any sea-boundaried 3rd-world countries to their knees single-handedly. It's simply an awesome ship.

The U.S.S. Missouri is currently a museum next to the Arizona in Pearl Harbor. While I can at least be glad that she wasn't scrapped after being decommissioned, it's almost a personal affront to me that she isn't still out on the sea. That's where she belongs, not lifeless and shackled forever to a pier. There is still SO much life left in those ships.........and we're the only country in the world with even the remotest capability of fielding them.

The old adage is very true........once a Battleship sailor, always a Battleship sailor. I'll love that ship until the day I die.

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Re: WWII Ghost sighting

Post  KevinT FBN on Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:24 pm

Thank you so much for the personal story DigiBoy. Steve and I have had a tumultuous summer and have sort of fallen off the FBN radar here, but I like to think we're getting revved back up here!

Steve and I were just talking last week about the fact that Jay and Grant seem to investigate a lot of ships and we wondered why. One of the reason we figured was due to the fact that pretty much every war vessel has a fatality on it. I like your insight into the special bond a soldier has with his ship.

Thanks for sharing!
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Re: WWII Ghost sighting

Post  DigitalBoy0101 on Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:52 am

Thanks for the reply, Kevin! I'm kind of bummed I only had one experience in 2 1/2 years, so there's not much to base a full-blown investigation of the ship on (except the possible spirit in Engine Room #1 or #2 that I never encountered). Doing a Physical Security watch in the Engine Room at midnight, you ARE going to hear noises occasionally........but that's just the ship, it happens. It could be a small amount of water hammer in the steam pipes, it could be deck plates shifting slightly, it could be any number of things.

I had what I'd describe as a passing interest in the paranormal before that point. It only takes ONE completely unexpected full-body apparition sighting to change that pretty quickly though, LOL! Once you've seen one with your own eyes, any debate is forever ended.

It's interesting to note that I only feel (even today) a tight bond with the Missouri. My second ship was the Nimitz, which I served aboard for 6 months, and the bond wasn't nearly the same. The ship felt too cookie-cutter, too mass-produced, while the Missouri felt crafted. It's hard to explain I guess, but the intangible sometimes leaves the largest impressions. Both ships are famous (the Missouri more so), so I guess I'm lucky to have served on both. The Missouri I'll love until the day die. The Nimitz? Eh, it's nice and all, but I'll take my Battleship back, please.

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Re: WWII Ghost sighting

Post  KevinT FBN on Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:56 pm

I'm glad you mentioned the steam pipes and deck plates making sounds. When I watch the investigations of ships on TV it drives me nuts when I see folks flipping out over knocks and bangs when they're on a metal ship at night! I have to imagine the expansion and contraction of all that metal has to make a lot of unidentifiable sounds. 'Water hammer" in the steam pipes certainly sounds noisy!

Keep your eyes and ears open for anything paranormal in the Omaha / CB area. Steve and I are eager to go do some more investigations. Smile
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